Pastoral Care and Community in Late Medieval Germany explores how local religious culture was constructed in medieval European Christian society through close study of a set of neglected, late fourteenth-century manuscripts. The Mirror of Priests is a pastoral work written by Albert, an Augustinian canon from the Bavarian market town of Diessen, to guide local priests in their work with parishioners. Multiple versions of the text in Albert’s own hand survive and, by comparing them, Deeana Copeland Klepper shows how ostensibly universal religious ideals and laws were adapted, interpreted, and repurposed by those given responsibility to implement them, thereby crafting distinctive, local expressions of Christianity.
The vision of Christian community that emerges from Albert’s pastoral guide is one in which the messiness of ordinary life is evident. Albert’s imagined parish was marked out by geographic and legal boundaries—property and jurisdictional rights, tithes, and sacramental responsibility—as well as symbolic realities. By situating the Mirror of Priests within Albert’s physical and conceptual spaces, Klepper affirms the centrality of the parish and its community for those living under the rubric of Christianity, especially outside of large cities. Pivoting between the materiality of texts and the sociocultural contexts of an overlooked manuscript tradition, Pastoral Care and Community in Late Medieval Germany offers fresh insights into the role of parish priests, the pastoral manual genre, and late medieval religious life.
Informations pratiques :
Deeana Copeland Klepper, Pastoral Care and Community in Late Medieval Germany. Albert of Diessen’s « Mirror of Priests, Ithaca (NY), Cornell University Press, 2022 ; 1 vol., 234 p. ISBN : 978-1-50176-615-2. Prix : € 54,95.
Source : Cornell University Press
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